The architecture was known to be a profession for males as it is a sign of masculinity and solely purposed for men to succeed. Well, it was just what was known for and it is not anymore. Women have already penetrated the architecture profession and defying the stereotype that architecture is only a profession for men. Empowered women like Zaha Hadid, Jeanne Gang, Kazuyo Sejima, Yvonne Farrell, Shelley McNamara, and many more beat the double standards against female architects in the world of Architecture showing successful stories imposing women also deserve a place in the so-called ‘male-dominated’ profession.
Here are organizations around the world that empower women in the field of architecture:
Warch(ee) is a Beirut-based organization and a platform that allows women and men to communicate and establish themselves in the construction field. It also offers opportunities for women all over the world. Founded by Anastasia Elrouss, she aims to create an all-inclusive world after several encounters between women who rarely go to site constructions to be part of the decision making in the panning of cities and neighborhoods alarmed her. The organization aims to create employment through supporting women to pursue traditional jobs in the construction field, establish partnerships and collaborations with different companies, and develop do-it-yourself techniques.
To know more about their work visit: www.warchee.org
As a non-profit organization for Gender Equity in the architecture sector transforming the profession by connecting education and practice. It is dedicated to an all women-identified, non-binary, gender non-conforming advancement that encourages and promotes women in the discipline. Founded by Lori Brown and Nina Freedman who are both advocates of women empowerment.
You can learn more about Architexx here: www.architexx.org
3. Chicago Women in Architecture
Founded by eight women – Gertrude Lempp Kerbis, Carol Ross Barney, Cynthia Weese, Nancy Abshire, Gunduz Dagdelen, Natalie de Blois, Laura Fisher, and Jane M. Jacobsen believed that they need to support and join together to fight the stereotyping and isolation of women architects in the field. Lack of recognition, access to public projects, professional support, pay equity, and sensitivity to gender differences alarmed the advocates and have been long improved since 1974, but still challenged for women in the architecture field. It is also a non-profit, volunteer-led membership organization based in Chicago to support women throughout their careers.
You can learn more about Chicago Women in Architecture here: cwarch.org
Based in Australia, Parlour is a research-based organization that aims to promote gender equity in architecture, advocacy programs to empower women, to generate debate and discussion, strengthen networks and communities in Australian architecture and celebrate women in the profession by providing them equal opportunity. The organization was initiated as part of the Australian Research Council-funded research project “Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work, and Leadership. The research was led by Naomi Stead together with Justine Clark, Gill Mathewson, Karen Burns, Amanda Roan, Gilliab Whitehouse, and Sandra Kaji-O’Grady.
If you’re based in Australia and want to learn more about Parlour, here’s their website: archiparlour.org
5. Women in Design (Denver)
Women in Design is the only professional women’s organization based in Denver for women in the built industry. Founded in 2005 by Cheryl Bicknell, Martha Bennett, and Peggy Kinsey, they aim to have a self-supporting community of female professionals through social, community service, and professional activities run by women for the women. Although quite small their first community gathering drew them 50 women from different firms of engineering, architecture, and interior design across the city. Now they have gathered more than 500 women with diverse experiences, representing different companies throughout Metro Denver.
To those who wish to join or volunteer their organization check out their website: widdenver.org
6. Association for Women in Architecture and Design
Probably one of the oldest organizations that empower women in architecture is the Association for Women in Architecture Design or AWAD. Dating back to almost one hundred years, AWAD was founded in early 1900 where there was a need for women to help one another to succeed in the male-dominated profession of architecture. Their mission is to advance and support women in the fields of architecture and design by providing educational programming, mentoring, and offering career opportunities for those students in these fields. It is a professional society to help women in design and working in the built environment.
Learn more about their work of empowering women architects here: www.awaplusd.org
7. Women in Architecture
As a sub-organization of the American Institute of Architects or AIA exclusive for empowering women, Women in Architecture play an essential role to maintain, protect, and monitor the increasing number of women architects and women principals. The mission of the said committee is to increase the viability and visibility of women in the industry of architecture and other related design fields. One of their goals as well as to develop and promote women’s growth through activities and networking opportunities that will allow women to achieve their fullest potential.
More of Women in Architecture here: www.aia.org
8. Built by Women
Created and curated by the Willis Architecture Foundation, Built by Women aims to celebrate women’s contributions to the built environment. It provides strong role models for aspiring women architects through educating and giving out information about women architects. It comes in the form of a map and stretches out the whole area of Los Angeles, California mapping outbuildings that were designed and built by women architects. Sounds cool right? Because women are underrepresented in the building professions, Built by Women’s goal is to change this and increase the number of women in fields like engineering and architecture.
To check out the website, access it here: www.builtbywomen.us
9. Organization of Women Architects
Run by a volunteer and staffed by members who are committed to upholding the organization’s goals, The Organization of Women Architects or OWA was founded in 1973 by twelve Bay Area, California women working in the field of architecture began gathering to exchange experiences, and it eventually became a networking resource and a support group to women in the architecture field. With a membership of over 300 members, disciplines such as interior designers, landscape architects, planners, lighting designers, photographers, artists, writers, and educators as well as students were welcomed to join the architect members of the organization.
Learn more about OWA here: www.owa-usa.org
10. Pioneering Women of American Architecture
Pioneering Women of American Architecture is supported as well by the Willis Architecture Foundations that presents a collection of profiles of fifty women who have made important contributions to American architecture. Women who were born before 1940 when women struggled both to the inequality of female architects in the profession and to be recognized for their work. It aims to expose the face of women who made contributions and cultivate inspiration to the young generation.
Access the website here: https://pioneeringwomen.bwaf.org
Here’s to the female architects who are venturing this beautiful profession, let not gender define the capability of one’s character towards their chosen career. Normalize the inclusivity of everyone regardless of their race and gender. Equality must not be a double standard, it must be the norm.